I don’t remember the first time we met. It was so long ago and kindergarten is wrought with all kinds of new experiences and people and in my ripe old age of almost 30, I can’t help but forget some of the details. I’m sure it was near the cubbies where we hung up our coats and backpacks and I’m sure I said something like “Hi, my name is Amanda and we should be friends” and then we were. Actually, that’s how things would work today and some of my dearest friends have come from uttering those very words (I’m looking at you, Jason!). Except back in kindergarten I was shy and cautious (and as awkward as I still am today) and it was likely you who made the first move. I’m so glad you did.
I remember that I loved you right away and you loved me too, which is why we so quickly made our relationship official. Our honeymoon was going to be in Florida and once we started our life together I would have the top bunk and you the bottom (I’m sure there’s a sexual joke in there somewhere). I remember kissing you under the slide one day at recess in the first grade. It was a little bit gross but Courtney (who had older sisters and knew things) insisted that we weren’t official until we kissed. So we did. I haven’t kissed a boy beneath a slide since because that moment was special. Also, I’m too tall now.
Of course, the two years we spent together were not all perfect. I remember the day I sobbed the entire bus ride home from school. When I walked through the front door, snot and tears blotching my face my mother asked what was wrong. “Yuya broke up with me!!” I sobbed out. “I don’t even know what that means but it sounds bad!” Thankfully, you didn’t know what it meant either and we were fine the next day but careful never to take advice from Courtney again.
I remember the day you told me you were moving back to Japan. It was second grade and I was devastated because we had such a wonderful future planned (I never did find a prom date who was as great as you would have been). You stood in my kitchen and gave me two small Japanese trinkets and told me that you’d never forget me. I still have them.
I found the letter you wrote to me just after you moved. We promised that we would keep in touch and you did. You wrote, “I did not forget you because you are my best friend” and I think that they are the kindest words a boy has ever written to me. Actually, you are the only boy who has written to me and I am so sorry that it has taken me 22 years to write you back. Procrastination’s a bitch.
I’ve tried looking you up on facebook but unless your profile picture is from 1990, I have no way of knowing if it’s you. Also, everything is in Japanese and I have no idea what potential you is saying. It makes for really crappy and uninformative stalking.
I imagine what your life must be now in Japan. Surely you aren’t still playing with blocks and kissing girls under slides (or maybe you are and in that case, way to go). Perhaps you are married or at the very least have found relationships where you’ve gotten to be the bottom bunk. Or perhaps you are like me and sometimes wish love was as easy as it was when we were 6. Wherever you are and whatever your life, just know that I did not forget you because once, long ago, you were my best friend.